Dubious referee decisions left Gombak coach Balagumaran frustrated while the SAFFC coach felt that his team deserved to progress to the Singapore Cup final
|By Khalis Rifhan
A penalty each in both leg secured a berth in the RHB Singapore Cup final for SAFFC, their first since they last lifted the cup in 2008, as they saw off the challenge from Gombak United.
Although it was a scrappy win for the Warriors, coach Richard Bok felt that his team did well and looked forward to be given a good sending off in the cup final.
“I will take it as long we go to the final," said Bok.
"I thought we were organised and very compact at the back and also disciplined, especially this game. They also put in a fantastic effort in this match
“We also created several good chances but did not put it away. The team tried very hard. Congratulations to the team for making it to the final and hope they give me a good farewell, at least in the final.”
Bok revealed that he has studied his opponent’s game play but was disappointed at his players for not making full use of the opportunity in front of goal.
“We know that they are going to have fast players in the first half and, either way, Jung Hee Bong will come in and give them the aerial power," said the Warriors coach.
"But I think we were strong and did quite well.
“We also created several good chances but did not put it away. The team tried very hard and we got to work on the finishing. We know that we were going to create those chances but need to be a bit more clinical in front of goal.”
Bok's opposite number, Balagumaran's expressions said it all. He was visibly upset at how his team was denied a result by the referee’s decision.
“The game would have been different if the goal had not been disallowed," said Bala.
"Jung Hee Bong gets the ball, nobody touches it [on the way into the net] and it is offside. That goal might have changed the game.
“My players did well, they followed our game plan, first half it was goalless, but the officials really changed the game.”
Although the club was unable to advance into the final, Bala is now not only aiming to finish the competition in third placing, is also looking forward to better their league standing too.
“All the players were looking forward to the final as this is one of the best years we had in the cup," said the Bulls coach.
"We have been playing very well since the beginning but we did not get the result.
“So now we are looking forward to the third and fourth placing match and the remaining S.league games where hopefully we get motivated and finish above SAFFC [in the league standing]."
Clearly still unable to get the penalty decision that went against his team, Bala showed his disgust at the end of the post-match interview: “I can’t believe that he has given a penalty!”